Cozy up with a survey to improve Central Okanagan wood stove exchange program

January 8, 2021
Public service announcement

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) is seeking feedback on its Wood Stove Exchange Program. The RDCO program supports cleaner air by providing financial incentives to help people replace old, smoky wood stoves with cleaner options.

To evaluate and improve the Wood Stove Exchange Program, an online public survey is being conducted until Jan. 17. People who own a residential wood burning appliance in the Central Okanagan – including Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, West Kelowna, Peachland, Lake Country, and the Central Okanagan East and West electoral areas – are encouraged to participate. To thank participants for their time, two names will be randomly drawn to win a $100 ‘The Local’ gift card.

In the Central Okanagan, 30 per cent of air pollution comes from residential wood burning. Wood burning creates air pollution by increasing particulate matter, or PM 2.5, which contains fine particles that can cause health problems. Since 2001, Wood Stove Exchange Program rebates have been used to replace over 700 old wood stoves with cleaner models such as gas or pellet stoves, electric heat pumps, or new emission-certified wood stoves.

Quick facts about residential wood burning:

  • Using dry, well-seasoned wood cut into pieces 10 to 15 centimeters in diameter will produce less smoke. Properly dried wood is lighter, has cracks in the grain on the ends, and sounds hollow when knocked against another piece of wood.
  • It’s recommended that wood-burning appliances are inspected and cleaned by a certified technician once per year.
  • In British Columbia, all new wood stoves and inserts sold must meet Canadian Standards Association or U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emission standards.

The Central Okanagan Wood Stove Exchange Program is provided with support from the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. To complete the survey and learn more about the program and wood burning best practices, visit rdco.com/airquality.